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Reading for Pleasure News – July
We were delighted to see many of you at our June conference and hope to see you again for the next one, ‘Reading Teachers: More Than Teachers Who Read’, on Saturday 1st October in Milton Keynes. Book your tickets here!
As final TRG sessions take place, we are thrilled to have trained over 60 TRG leaders across 2021/22. In this issue, we hear from a few TRG members who reflect on their learning, encourage you to sign up to the Teachers’ Reading Challenge, and share details of our new ‘look’ website. Enjoy!
Reading Teachers - capital R, capital T - are not just school based teachers of reading. Nor are they simply teachers who read. To find out more and develop as a Reading Teacher join us on October 1st in Milton Keynes. You will also get to meet Katya Balen, our fabulous award winning author as well as hear about the Farshore, OU and UKLA RfP Awards and choose from evidence informed workshops! Just £40, or bring a friend and pay £35!
It was hugely inspiring to see so many dedicated professionals on 18th June at the University of Cambridge Primary School! With Frank Cottrell Boyce, award winning teachers sharing their insights, ace workshops led by TRG leaders, a giant bookshop, and a special lunchtime toast to celebrate our fifth anniversary, it really was a day to remember. Do join us again on 1st October in Milton Keynes for our Reading Teachers conference.
To celebrate Book Island’s 10th anniversary, they’re giving away 3 pre-release copies of their next picture book, 'That's Nice, Love' by Owen Gent. Click here to enter before 1st August 2022! Delegates at our June conference all received a free copy of their 'The Garden of Inside-Outside', which has teacher resources, available on Book Island's website. Thank you Book Island!
We are delighted to have partnered with the fabulous Reading Agency for another year of the Teachers’ Reading Challenge. It’s an opportunity for all interested educators to expand your repertoire of children’s texts and develop related RfP practice. Plus, you’ll have access to lots of reviews and resources. Give it a try!
Have a look at our new homepage! It’s easy-to-read and demonstrates the links between research and practice. Our website is a key channel in sharing valuable RfP research and resources, so we’re trying to make it clearer and more user-friendly. We’ll continue to update it over the coming months, so do keep your eyes peeled and tell us what you think.
Teresa Cremin is launching a new Professional Development programme, designed exclusively for Pearson’s Bug Club members and created in partnership with The Open University. The webinar is on Tuesday 12th July 3.45pm. Teresa will introduce the course materials and some of the approaches recommended in the modules. Sign up to find out more.
An app designed to get much-needed books into schools without a library is now being used by schools in London, but more donations are required. The Books2All app went live in May, and they are looking for London schools and donors to download it from the App Store or Google Play and to upload as many books as possible.
The charity Bookmark is running an initiative to help Ukrainian child refugees turn the first page of their new chapter by providing a book boxes. They’ve currently got funding for 6,000 boxes which they’re hoping to distribute by the end of August! Find out how you can help.
This month we speak to Jackie Morris about her favourite books. Jackie is the bestselling author and illustrator, photographer and painter who created the international bestseller, The Lost Words, winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2019, with Robert Macfarlane.
Mary Anne Wolpert chooses her three top texts this month: The Great Stink, It Fell From the Sky and Milo Imagines the World. After more than 35 years of working in teaching and teacher education in the UK, Mary Anne now lives and works in New York, where she continues to share her passion for children’s literature through her work with the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee.
The OU Reading Schools Programme: Building a Culture of Reading
Throughout July, senior leaders from the 72 schools we’ve been working with across the year have been presenting their journeys and reflecting on the impact on the 20%. It has been inspiring and encouraging. RfP is a way of life, and our leaders are teeming with plans for sustaining and embedding their cultures of reading. They have this in common – and they also have these books in common too!
OU/UKLA Teacher Reading Groups
With final TRG sessions now taking place, we’re delighted to have worked with over 60 new TRG leaders this year! We hope colleagues have enjoyed and found value in their sessions and we look forward to seeing you thrive in your future RfP endeavours. Finally, please make sure you have sent us your TRG Leader evaluation and completed the dates form for groups next year – we can’t send materials out for the new year without your dates!
South Lanarkshire’s primary and secondary TRG participants, from this year and last, took part in a Celebration Event. One of the members, Jamie Connelly, said ‘too much time is spent looking for evidence of improvement and too little focus is given to creating conditions needed for reading to become an embedded feature of children’s lives’ and we all felt this summarised beautifully the purpose of the TRGs, nationwide. Read more.
It has been a privilege to lead Lincolnshire’s OU/UKLA RfP TaR group this academic year. Working together, we have gained so much inspiration from the website and have found the audit tools, videos, research and case studies invaluable. We have become a community of readers who share and grow ideas to promote reading for pleasure; the impact in all participating schools has been amazing! Read more.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we’re featuring award-winning examples of practice from the wonderful English leaders who delivered keynote speeches at our conference: Laura Atkinson, Katharine Young and Clara Breakwell.
Laura Atkinson, at Lapal Primary in Dudley, developed an action plan to embed a reading ethos, introducing book parcels, a parent ‘book swap’, literature maps, monthly Recommended Reads and much more. This has meant that RfP is now at the heart of the school, with Ofsted noting the impact it has had on the children.
Katharine Young and Clara Breakwell, while they were both at Elmhurst Primary in London, developed a strategic approach to RfP based on OU research. They focused on widening teachers’ knowledge of children’s literature to build reciprocal reading relationships between staff and pupils, and got parents involved in reading, to embed a genuine RfP culture.
This paper, titled ‘When Authenticity Goes Missing: How Monocultural Children’s Literature Is Silencing the Voices and Contributing to Invisibility of Children from Minority Backgrounds’, written by Helen Adam at The School of Education, Edith Cowan University in Australia, reports on a study about the use of children’s literature to support principles of cultural diversity in kindergarten rooms.
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